Greensboro, NC - Local leaders voted to allow an aquatic center to go forward. The city council approved an $18.3 million dollar bid to start construction.
Last year voters approved a bond for a $12 million-dollar aquatic center. But now the projected cost is $18.8 million.
The council also voted to approve an extra $6.8 million in bond money, planning to use hotel tax money for it.
Members of the Greensboro Swimming Association rallied outside council chambers to keep the center afloat. Some supporters donned goggles and swim caps inside the chambers.
"A lot of our facilities are just antiquated and it would just be a great thing," said Chrissy Olson with the Greensboro Swimming Association. "It would bring in a lot of tourism, a lot of diving competitions, synchronized swimming, water polo, you name it," she said. "Build it and they will come."
But some councilmembers are hesitant to swallow the $6.8 million dollar increase.
"This is not what the citizens voted for," said councilwoman Mary Rakestraw. "They voted for a $12 million-dollar pool. They were told that because of economic times they could get that size pool and price of pool for $12 million."
She would prefer to put a bond referendum on the ballot to see if voters would back the more expensive swim center.
Rakestraw, Trudy Wade, Danny Thompson, and Mayor Bill Knight voted against construction approval. Nancy Vaughn, Robbie Perkins, Zack Matheny, T. Diane Bellamy-Small, and Jim Kee voted for it.
The proposed 58,000 square foot facility would be located at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Construction is expected to start in January and completion is scheduled for April 2011.
WFMY News 2